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Hang upon his pent-house lid;
Cawdor, whom he has just defeated and laken He shall live a man (3) forbid;
prisoner, or call him a prosperous gentleman, who Wcary seven.nights nine times nine, Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine ;
has forfeited his title and life by open rebellion ? Though his bark cannot be lost,
Or why should he wonder that the title of the Yet it shall be tempest-lost,
rebel whom he has overthrown should be conLook what I have
ferred upon him? He cannot be supposed to 2d Witch. Show me, show me.
dissemble his knowledge of the condition of (1) Aroint thee, witch,
Cawdor, because he inquires with all the ardour In one of the folio editions the reading is of curiosity, and the vehemence of sudden asanoint thee, in a sense very consistent with the tonishment; and because nobody is present but common accounts of witches, who are related to Banquo, who had an equal part in the battle, perform many supernatural acts by the means of and was equally acquainted with Cawdor's treaunguents, and particularly to fly through the air son. However
, in the next scene, his ignorance to the place where they meet at their hellish fes- still continues; and when Rosse and Angus tivals. In this sense, anoint thee, witch, will mean, present him from the king with his new title, he away, witch, to your infernal assembly. This cries out, reading I was inclined to favour, because I had
The Thane of Cardor lives. met with the word aroint in no other place; till Why do you dress me in his borrowed robes? looking into Hearne's Collections, I found it in Rosse and Angus, who were the messengers thal a very old drawing that he has published, in in the second scene informed the king of the which St. Patrick is represented visiting hell
, assistance given by Cawdor to the invader, and putting the devils into great confusion by his having lost, as well as Macbeth, all memory of presence, of whom one that is driving the damned what they had so lately seen and related, make before him with a prong, has a label issuing
out this answer, from bis mouth with these words, out out aroynt,
-Whether he was of which the last is evidently the same with
Combin'd with Norway, or did line the rebels aroint, and used in the same sense as in this pas
With hidden help and vantage, or with both sage.
He labour'd in his country's wreck, I know not (2) And the very points they blow.
Neither Rosse knew what he had just reported, As the word very is here of no other use than nor Macbeth what he had just done. This to fill up the verse, it is likely that Shakspeare seems not to be one of the faults that are to be wrote various, which might be easily mistaken imputed to the transcribers, since, though the for very, being either negligently read, hastily inconsistency of Rosse and Angus might be repronounced, or imperfectly heard.
moved, by supposing that their names are erro(3) He shall live a man forbid.
neously inserted, and that only Rosse brought Mr. Theobald has very justly explained forbid the account of the battle, and only Angus was by accursed, but without giving any reason of fulness of Macbeth cannot be palliated, since
sent to compliment Macbeth, yet the forgethis interpretation. To bid, is originally to pray, what he says could not have been spoken by us in this Saxon fragment:
He is wis thaet bit & bore, &c.
The thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man, opposition to the word bid in its present sense, it signifies by the same kind of opposition to The single state of man seems to be used by curse, when it is derived from the same word in Shak speare for an individual, in opposition to a its primitive meaning.
commonwealth, or conjunct body of men. NOTE VI.--SCENE V.
NOTE VIII. The incongruity of all the passages in which
Macbeth. Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day. the Thane of Cardor is mentioned, is very remarkable; in the second scene the Thanes of I suppose every reader is disgusted at the Rosse and Angus bring the king an account of tantology in this passage, time and the hour, and the battle, and inform him that Norway,
will therefore willingly believe that Shakspeare
wrote it thus, Assisted by that most disloyal traitor The Thane of Cawdor, 'gan a dismal conflict.
-Come what come may,
Time! on!-the hour runs through the roughest day. It appears that Cawdor was taken prisoner, for the king says in the same scene,
Macbeth is deliberating upon the events which
are to befall him; but finding no satisfaction -Go, pronounce his death,
from his own thoughts, he grows impatient of And with his former tiile greet Macbeth.
reflection, and resolves to wait the close withont Yet though Cawdor was thus taken by Mac- harassing himself with conjectures, beth in arms against his king, when Macheth
-Come what come may. is saluted, in the fourth scene, Thane of Cawdor, by the Weird Sisters, he asks,
But to shorten the pain of suspense, he calıs How of Cardor the Thane of Cardor lives,
upon time in the usual style of ardent desire, to A prosperous gentleman.
quicken his motion, And in the next line considers the promises, that he should be Cawdor and King, as equally He then comforts himself with the reflection unlikely to be accomplished. How can Mac- that all his perplexity must have an end, beth be ignorant of the state of the Thane of -The hour runs through the roughest day.
Time ! on!
This conjecture is supported by the passage
NOTE XIII. in the letter to his lady, in which he says, They
-Hie thee hither, referred me to the coming on of time, with Hail That I may pour my spirits in thine ear, King that shall be
And chastise with the valour of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
That fate and metaphysical aid do seem
To have thee crown'd withal.
For seem, the sense evidently directs us to As one that had been studied in his death,
read seek. The crown to which fate destines To throw away the dearest thing he ow'd,
thee, and which preternatural agents endeavour As 't were a careless trifle.
to bestow upon thee. The golden round is the As the word ow'd affords here no sense but diadem. such as is forced and unnatural, it cannot be doubted that it was originally written, The
NOTE XIV. dearest thing he oron'd; a reading which needs
Lady Macbeth. -Come, all you spirits
That tend oui mortal thoughts, unsex me here, neither defence nor explication.
And fill me from the crown to th’toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty; make thick my blood,
Stop up th'access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my full purpose, nor keep peace between
Th' effect and it. The construction of the mind is, I believe, a
Mortal thoughts. phrase peculiar to Shakspeare; it implies the This expression signifies not the thoughts of frame or disposition of the mind, by which it is mortals, but murtherous, deadly, or destructive dem determined to good or ill.
signs. So in Act 5th.
Hold fast the mortal sword.
With twenty mortal murthers.
Nor keep pace between Which do but what they should, in doing every thing
Th' effect and it. Sade low'rds your love and honour.
The intent of Lady Macbeth, evidently, is to of the last line of this speech, which is cer- wish that no womanish tenderness, or conscientainly, as it is now read, unintelligible, an tious remorse, may hinder her purpose from proemendation has been attempted, which Mr, ceeding to effect; but neither this, nor indeed Warburton and Mr. Theobald have admitted any other sense,' is expressed by the present as the true reading.
reading, and therefore it cannot be doubted that Our duties
Shakspeare wrote differently, perhaps thus : Are to your throne and state, children and servants, Which do but what they should, in doing every thing
That no compunctious visitings of nature Fiefs to your love and honour.
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep pace between
Th' effect and it. My esteem of these critics inclines me to believe, that they cannot be much pleased with the
To keep pace between, may signify to pass beexpression Fiefs to love, or Fiefs to honour; and troeen, to intervene. Pace is on many occasions that they have proposed this alteration rather a favourite of Shakspeare. This phrase is inbecause no other occurred to them, than because deed not usual in this sense, but was it not its they approved it. I shall therefore propose a
novelty that gave occasion to the present corrup
tion? bolder change, perhaps with no better success, but sua cuique placent. I read thus,
NOTE XV.-SCENE VIII.
King. This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air Our duties
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself Are to your throne and state, children and servants,
Unto our gentle senses. Which do but what they should, in doing nothing
Banquo. This guest of summer, Save low'rds your love and honour.
The temple-haunting Martlet, does approve, We do but perform our duty when we con
By his lov'd mansionary, that heav'n's breath tract all our views to your service, when we act
Smells wooingly here. No juuing frieze,
Buurice, nor coigne of vantage, but this bird with no other principle than regard to your love Hath made his pendent bed, and procreant cradle: and honour.
Where they most breed and haunt, I have observ'd It is probable that this passage was first cor
The air is delicate. rupted by writing safe for save, and the lines In this short scene, I propose a slight alterathen stood thus,
tion to be made, by substituting site for seal, as -Doing nothing
the ancient word for situation; and sense for Safe tow'rd your love and honour.
senses, as more agreeable to the measure; for Which the next transcriber observing to be which reason likewise I have endeavoured to wrong, and yet not being able to discover the adjust this passage, real fault, altered to the present reading.
Smells wooingly here. No julling frieze,
by changing the punctuation, and adding a sylThat which cries, "thus thou must do if thou have it,
lable-thus: And that,” &c.
Smells wooingly. Here is no jutting frieze. As the object of Macbeth's desire is here introduced speaking of itself, it is necessary to read, Those who have perused books printed at the -Thou 'det have, great Glamis,
time of the first editions of Shakspeare, know That which crics, "thus thou must do ir thou have me.” | that greater alterations than these are necessary
almost in every page, even where it is not to be lion seem to have ceased. This image, which is, doubted that the copy was correct.
perhaps, the most striking that poetry can pro
duce, has been adopted by Dryden in his “CoriNOTE XVI.-SCENE X.
quest of Mexico.” The arguments by which Lady Macbeth per: All things are hushod as nature's self lay dead, suades her husband to commit the murder, afford the mountains seem to nod their drowsy head; a proof of Shakspeare's knowledge of human The litle birds in dreams their songs res eat, nature. She urges the excellence and dignity And sleeping flowers beneath the nighi-dews sweat. of courage, a glittering idea which has dazzled Even lust and envy sleep! mankind from age to age, and animated some These lines, though so well known, I have times the housebreaker, and sometimes the con- transcribed, that the contrast between them and queror: but this sophism Macbeth has for ever this passage of Shakspeare may be more accudestroyed by distinguishing true from false for- rately observed. titude, in a line and a half; of which it may Night is described by two great poets, but almost be said, that they ought to bestow immor- one describes a night of quiet, the other of pertality on the author, though all his other produc- turbation. In the night of Dryden, all the distions had been lost.
turbers of the world are laid asleep; in that of I dare do all that may become a man,
Shakspeare, nothing but sorcery, lust, and murWho dares do more is none.
der is awake. He that reads Dryden, finds This topic, which has been always employed himself lulled with serenity, and disposed 10 with too much success, is used in this scene solitude and contemplation. He that peruses with peculiar propriety to a soldier by a woman.
Shakspeare, looks round alarmed, and starts to Courage is the distinguishing virtue of a soldier, find himself alone. One is the night of a lover, and the reproach of cowardice cannot be borne the other that of a murderer. by any man from a woman, without great impa
Wither'd murder, tience.
Thus with his stealthy pace, She then urges the oaths by which he had With Tarquin’s ravish.ng sides tow'rd'his design,
Moves like a ghost.bound himself to murder Duncan, another art of sophistry by which men have sometimes de This was the reading of this passage in all the luded their consciences, and persuaded them editions before that of Mr. Pope, who for sides selves that what would be criminal' in others, is inserted in the text strides, which Mr. Theobald virtuous in them; this argument Shakspeare, has tacitly copied from him, though a more prowhose plan obliged him to make Macbeth yield, per alteration might perhaps have been made. has not confuted, though he might easily have A ravishing stride is an action of violence, impeshown that a former obligation could not be va- tuosity, and tumult, like that of a savage rushcated by a latter.
ing on his prey ; whereas the poet is here at
tempting to exhibit an image of secrecy and NOTE XVII.
caution, of anxious circumspection and guilty Letting I dare not, wait upon I would, timidity, the stealthy pace of a ravisher creeping Like the poor cal i' th' adage.
into the chamber of a virgin, and of an assassin The adage alluded to is, The cat loves fish but approaching the bed of him whom he proposes dares not wet her foot,
to murder, without awaking him ; these he deCatus amat pisces, sed non vult tingere plantas.
scribes as moving like ghosts, whose progression
is so different from strides, that it has been in all NOTE XVIII.
ages represented to be, as Milton expresses it, Will I with wine and wassel so convince.
Smooth sliding without step. To convince, is in Shakspeare to overpower or This hemistic will afford the true reading of subdue, as in this play,
this place, which is, I think, to be corrected - Their malady convinces
thus : The great assay of art.
And wither'd murder
-Thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin ravishing, slides tow'rd his design,
Moves like a ghost.
Tarquin is in this place the general name of a Queil 18 murder, manquellers being in the old lan. ravisher, and the sense is, Now is the time in guage the term for which murderers is now used. which every one is asleep, but those who are
employed in wickedness, the witch who is sacriNOTE XX.-Act II.-SCENE II.
ficing to Hecate, and the ravisher and the mur. Now o'er one half the world
derer, who, like me, are stealing upon their prey. (1) Nature seems deal, and wicked dreams abuse The curtain d sleep; now witchcraft celebrates
When the reading is thus adjusted, he wishes Pale Hecal s offerings : and wither d murder
with great propriety, in the following lines, that (Alarum'd by his senuinel, the wolf,
the earth may not hear his steps.
That now suits with it.
I believe every one that has attentively read And (3) take the present horror from the time this dreadful soliloquy is disappointed at the That now suits with it
conclusion, which, if not wholly unintelligible, (1) Now o'er one ball the world
is at least obscure, nor can be explained into any Nature seems dead.
sense worthy of the author. I shall therefore That is, over our hemisphere all action and mo-propose a slight alteration.
Thou sound and firm-set earth,
it be imagined that Shakspeare would reproach Hear not my steps : which way they walk, for fear
the murderer of his king only with want of man. Thy very stones prate of my where-about, And talk-the present horror of the time!
There are undoubtedly two faults in this That now suits with it
passage, which I have endavoured to take away Macbeth has, in the foregoing lines, disturbed by reading his imagination by enumerating all the terrors
-Daggers of the night ; at length he is wrought up to a
Unmanly drench'd with gore.degree of frenzy, that makes him afraid of some I saw drench'd with the king's blood the fatal supernatural discovery of his design, and calls daggers, not only instruments of murder, but evin out to the stones not to betray him, not to de- dences of cowardice. clare where he walks, nor to talk.- As he is Each of these words might easily be congoing to
of what, he discovers the absurdity founded with that which I have substituted for of his suspicion, and pauses, but is again over- it by a hand not exact, a casual blot, or a negliwhelmed by his guilt
, and concludes that such gent inspection. are the horrors of the present night, that the Mr. Pope has endeavoured to improve one of stones may be expected to cry out against him. these lines by substituting goary blood for golden That now suits with it.
blood, but it may easily be admitted, that he who He observes in a subsequent passage, that on skin, would lace it with golden blood. No amend-
could on such an occasion talk of lacing the silver such occasions stones have been known to move.
ment can be made to this line, of which every It is now a very just and strong picture of a man word is equally faulty, but by a general blot. about to commit a deliberate murder, under the strongest convictions of the wickedness of his these forced and unnatural metaphors into the:
It is not improbable, that Shakspeake put design.
mouth of Macbeth, as a mark of artifice and disa NOTE XXI. SCENE IV.
simulation, to show the difference between the Lenor. The night has been unruly; where we lay studied language of hypocrisy, and the natural Our chimneys were blown down. And, as they say,
outeries of sudden passion. This whole speech, Lamentings heard i'th' air, strange screams of death, And prophesying with accents terrible
considered in this light, is a remarkable instance of dire combustions, and confused events,
of judgment, as it consists entirely of antitheses. Nero-hatch'd to the roof ul time.
and metaphors. The obscure bird clamour'd the live-long night, Some say the earth was fev'rous and did shake.
NOTE XXIV.-Act III. SCENE II. These lines I think should be rather regulated Macbeth.-Our fears in Banquo thus:
Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be fear'd. 'Tis much he daros, -Prophesying with accents terrible,
And to that dauntless lemper of his mind, or dire combustions and confused events,
He hath a wisdom that doch guide his valour New.hatch'd to the woful time, the obscure bird
To act in safety. There is none but he, Clamour'd the live-long night. Some say the earth Whose being I do fear; and under him Was fev'rous and did shake.
My genius is rebukid; (1) as it is said, A prophecy of an event new-hatch'd, seems to be a
Anthony's was by Cæsar. He chid the sisters,
When first they put the name of king upon me, prophecy of an event past. The term nero-hatch'd
And badle them speak to him; then prophet-like, is properly applicable to a bird, and that birds of They hail'd him futher to a line of kings ; ill omen should be nero-hatch'd to the woful time, Upon my head they plac'd a fruitless crown,
And put a barr sceptre in my gripe is very consistent with the rest of the prodigies
Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand, here mentioned, and with the universal disorder No son of mine succeeding. If 'tis so, into which nature is described as thrown by the For Banquo's issue have l'iil'd my mind,
For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd, perpetration of this horrid murder.
Put rancours in the vessel of my peace
Only for them, and mine eternal jewel
Given to the (2) common enemy of man, Up! up! and see
To make them kings,- the seed of Banquo kings. The great doom's image, Malcolm, Banquo,
Rather than so, come fate into the list, As from your graves rise up.
(3) And champion me to th' utterance The second line might have been so easily
(1) As it is said, completed, that it cannot be supposed to have
Anthony's was by Cæsar. been left imperfect by the author, who probably
Though I would not often assume the critic's wrote,
privilege, of being confident where certainty -Malcolm! Banquo! rise !
cannot be obtained, nor indulge myself too far in As from your graves rise up.
departing from the established reading; yet I Many other emendations of the same kind cannot but propose the rejection of this passage, might be made, without any greater deviation which I believe was an insertion of some player, from the printed copies than is found in each of that, having so much learning as to discover to them from the rest.
what Shakspeare alluded, was not willing that
his audience should be less knowing than himNOTE XXIII.
self, and has therefore weakened the author's Macbeth. ---Here lay Duncan, His silver skin laced with his golden blood,
sense by the intrusion of a remote and useless And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature,
image into a speech bursting from a man wholly For ruin's wasteful entrance: there the murtherers possessed with his own present condition, and Steep'd in the colours of their trade, their daggers therefore not at leisure to explain his own alluUnmannerly breech'd with gore.
sions to himself. If these words are taken away, An unmannerly dagger, and a dagger breech'd, by which not only the thought but the numbers or as in some editions, breach'd with gore, are are injured, the lines of Shakspeare close togen expressions not easily to be understood, nor can I ther without any traces of a breach.
My genius is rebuk'd. He chid the sisters. not want directions to find Banquo, and there
(2)-The common enemy of man. It is always an entertainment to an inquisitive reader, to trace a sentiment to its original
with a perfect spy o’ th' time source, and therefore, though the term enemy of Accordingly a third murderer joins them afterman applied to the devil is in itself natural and wards at the place of action. obvious, yet some may be pleased with being in Perfect is well instructed, or well informed, as formed, that Shakspeare probably borrowed it in this play. from the first lines of the “ Destruction of Troy,” a book which he is anown to have read.
Though in your state of honour l'am perfect. That this reme.dk may not appear too trivial, Though I am well acquainted with your quality I shall take occasion from it to point out a beau- and rank. tiful passage of Milton, evidenily copied from a
NOTE XXVII.-SCENE IV. book of no greater authority: in describing the
2d Murderer. He needs not to mistrust, since he gates of hell, book ii. v. 879, he says
Our offices and what we have to do,
To the direction jusi.
Mr. Theobald has endeavoured unsuccessfully
to amend this passage, in which nothing is faulty In the history of “Don Bellianis,” when one but the punctuation. of the knights approaches, as I remember, the abrupt dialogue is this: The perfect spy, men
The meaning of this castle of Brandezar, the gates are said to open tioned by Macbeth in the foregoing scene, has, grating harsh thunder upon their brazen hinges.
before they enter upon the stage, given them the (3) Come fate into the list,
directions which were promised at the time of And champion me to th' utterance.
their agreement; and therefore one of the musThis passage will be best explained by trans- derers observes that since he has given them such lating it into the language from whence the only exact information, he needs not doubt of their perword of difficulty in it is borrowed. Que la formance. Then, by way of exhortation to his destin e se rende en lice, et qu'elle me donne un associates, he cries out, defi a l'outrance. A challenge or a combat a
To the direction just. l'outrance, to extremity, was a fixed term in the law of arms, used when the combatants engaged Now nothing remains but that we conform exactly with an odium internecinum, an intention to de- to Macbeth's directions. stroy each other, in opposition to trials of skill at
NOTE XXVIII. -SCENE V. festivals, or on other occasions, where the contest was only for reputation or a prize. The
Macbeth. You know your own degree, sit down: sense therefore is, Lét fate that has fore-doomed At first and last the hearty welcome. the exaltation of the sons of Banquo, enter the lists As this passage stands, not only the numbers against me, with the utmost animosity, in defence are very imperfect, but the sense, if any can be of its own decrees, which I will endeavour to in- found, weak and contemptible. The numbers validate, whatever be the danger.
will be improved by reading.
Sit down at first,
And last a hearty welcome
You know your own degree, sit downTo first
And last the hearty welcome. Though this is not the most sparkling passage in the play, and though the name of a dog is of lowest, may be assured that their visil is well re
All of whatever degree, from the highest to the no great importance, yet it may not be improperceived. to remark, that there is no such species of dogs as shoughs mentioned by Caius de Canibus Bri.
NOTE XXIX. tannicis, or any other writer that has fallen into
Macbeth. There's blood upon thy fare. my hands, nor is the word to be found in any
(To the murderer aside at the door. dictionary which I have examined. I therefore Murderer. Tis Banquo's then. imagined that it is falsely printed for slouths, a
Nacbeth. 'Tis better thee without, than he within. kind of slow hound bred in the southern parts The sense apparently requires that this pasof England, but was informed by a lady, that it sage should be read thus : is more probably used, either by mistake, or 'Tis better thee without, than him wihin. according to the orthography of that time, for
That is, I am more pleased that the blood a shocks.
Banquo should be on thy face, than in his cody.
Lady Macbeth. Proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fear: Acquaint you with the perfect spy o'th' time,
(Aside to Macbaud The moment on', for 'i must be done to night,
This is the air-drawn dagger which you said And something from the palace :
Led you to Duncan. Oh, these flaws and starts What is meant by the spy of the time, it will Impostures to true fear, would well become be found difficult to explain ; and therefore sense
A woman's story at a winter's fire,
Authorised by her grandan.. Shame itself! will be cheaply gained by a slight alteration.
Why do you make such faces: When all 's done Macbeth is assuring the assassins that they shall You look but on a stool.